snIP/ITs Insights on Canadian Technology and Intellectual Property Law

Tag Archives: patents

Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal Affirms Invalidity of Idenix Patent for Insufficient Disclosure

Posted in Intellectual Property, Litigation, Patents

In their decision reported as 2017 FCA 161, the Federal Court of Appeal says s. 27(3) of the Patent Act requires the patent to disclose both the invention, and how to make the invention. Further, that a patent will not lack sufficient disclosure where routine experimentation is required of a skilled person. However, disclosure is insufficient if the specification “necessitates the working out of a problem”.

In this case, the patent did not teach a step necessary to synthesize the claimed compound. The issue was whether this gap could be filled by the common general knowledge of the skilled … Continue Reading

Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal Confirms Different Patent Claims Can Have Different Promised Utilities

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

In Teva Canada v. Novartis Canada 2016 FCA 230, the Federal Court of Appeal confirms that in assessing the utility of a patented invention, different patent claims can have different promised utilities.

This decision was made in Teva’s appeal from the Federal Court’s judgment (2015 FC 770) in which the Minister of Health was prohibited from granting an NOC to Teva in respect of its generic version of Novartis’ EXJADE® (deferasirox).

The only issue on appeal was whether the lower court erred in law in its construction of the so-called “promise of the patent”.… Continue Reading

Claim For Section 8 Damages Struck But Novel Cause Of Action Survives In Ontario Suit Re: Viagra® Patent

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

In this decision (2016 ONSC 4966), the Ontario Court dismissed Apotex’s claim for damages under s. 8 of the NOC Regulations in the face of a motion to strike. Apotex’s other relatively esoteric claims were, however, left for another day. These claims include alleged false and misleading statements under s. 7 of the Canadian Trade-Marks Act, unjust enrichment, nuisance, and conspiracy. Pfizer failed to establish that these claims were doomed to fail. The high standard applicable on these motions was not met.

Apotex pursues Pfizer in the Ontario Court for alleged losses relating to Apotex’s delay in … Continue Reading

Allegations Against Canadian Tenofovir Patent Found Unjustified (Again)

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

Gilead’s Canadian Patent 2,261,619 (the “619 Patent”)—the compound patent for tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (“TDF”)—is no stranger to Canadian courts. Adding to its litigious history, the Federal Court recently dismissed each of Apotex’s claims in an application under Canada’s NOC Regulations to find—for a second time—allegations relating to the 619 Patent’s validity unjustified.… Continue Reading

Watch Out: NPEs are Coming to Canada!

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

NPEs, otherwise known as non-practicing entities, or pejoratively referred to by some as “patent trolls”, have seen a significant negative impact on their business model south of the border. NPEs are analogous to private equity businesses–their business model is to acquire undervalued patent assets and turn around and sell or license them to others, which often leads to expensive patent litigation. If their assets are depreciating in value, the model becomes significantly less attractive. This is exactly what is happening in the US.

Recent US Supreme Court decisions including Alice, which restricted the scope of patent-eligible subject matter, and … Continue Reading

McCarthy Tétrault and IP Osgoode Co-host FinTech IP Symposium

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents, Startups

On March 9, McCarthy Tétrault and IP Osgoode jointly hosted a symposium titled Effective IP Strategy to Drive Innovation in the Financial Services Sector.  This event brought together academics, business people, and lawyers for a discussion of how technological change is transforming the financial service sector and pushing incumbents and disruptors alike to think carefully about their IP strategies.

After introductory remarks from Barry Sookman and Giuseppina D’Agostino, the event set a brisk tempo and covered a lot of ground in two short hours.  The discussion was organized around three panels.

The first panel, moderated by Matt FlynnContinue Reading

Who Goes There? Protecting Intellectual Property Relating to Payment Innovation

Posted in Fintech, Intellectual Property, Patents

The payments space is undergoing a period of rapid innovation, resulting in traditional financial institutions competing more and more directly with large technology companies such as Apple, Google, Samsung and Facebook. Unsurprisingly, various players in the payments industry have been filing patents to protect their proprietary technologies for various payment functionalities, ranging from central elements of a payment transaction (such as core payment processing algorithms), to other ancillary, but necessary, aspects of a payment transaction, such as authentication and tokenization methods.… Continue Reading

Innovator Delays Its Own Canadian Drug Approval In Effort To Secure Data Protection

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

On June 12, 2015, at the urgent request of Horizon Pharma PLC (“Horizon”), the Federal Court of Canada granted a rare interlocutory stay preventing the Minister of Health (the “Minister”) from issuing a Notice of Compliance (“NOC”) to Horizon in respect of its own glycerol phenylbutyrate drug RAVICTI that will be used to treat Urea Cycle Disorders (“UCDs”). Horizon sought the stay to prevent generic competitors from using the information in its regulatory submission while Horizon challenged the Minister’s decision to deny RAVICTI data protection. The Minister did not oppose Horizon’s motion.

While this case raises a fairly unique issue, … Continue Reading

Federal Court of Appeal Clarifies Misunderstanding: Factual Basis and Line of Reasoning Need not be Disclosed in the Patent

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

Summary

In a decision released on June 3, 2015 (2015 FCA 137), a unanimous Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) dismissed Apotex’s appeal of Justice O’Reilly’s order prohibiting the Minister of Health from issuing a NOC to Apotex to market its generic version of LUMIGAN RC® until the expiry of Canadian Patent No. 2,585,691 (the “‘691 Patent”).

Significantly, on the issue of sound prediction the FCA held that the elements of sound prediction need not be disclosed in a patent if they would be self-evident to the skilled person. The Federal Court of Appeal has previously stated this … Continue Reading

Review of US Patent Claims Construction Gets Canadianized

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

On January 20, 2015, the US Supreme Court rendered its precedent-setting decision in Teva[1] that reversed the Federal Circuit’s practice of reviewing all District Court claim constructions de novo on appeal. Instead the Supreme Court found that some decisions are entitled to deference as a consequence of certain factual findings that require Courts of Appeal to apply a “clear error” standard of review, and consequently, bringing the review of US claims constructions methodology more in line with the Canadian approach.… Continue Reading

Canadian Patent Judge Takes a Hard Stand Against Generic CIALIS® (tadalafil)

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

On January 7, 2015, Justice de Montigny of the Federal Court released his judgment and reasons in Eli Lilly Canada Inc. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals ULC, 2015 FC 17, allowing Lilly’s application for an order prohibiting the Minister of Health from issuing a Notice of Compliance to Mylan until the expiry of Canadian Patent No. 2,226,784 (the “‘784 Patent”). The patent relates to Lilly’s successful erectile dysfunction (“ED”) drug CIALIS® (tadalafil).

The Court found that Mylan’s allegations of invalidity on the basis of lack of utility and obviousness-type double patenting were unjustified. Justice de Montigny’s reasons signal the Court’s … Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Canada to Hear Landmark Pharmaceutical Section 8 Damages Case

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

On October 30, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to Sanofi-Aventis’ (“Sanofi”) application for leave to appeal a decision of the Federal Court of Appeal (2014 FCA 68). By granting leave to Sanofi, the Supreme Court will now consider for the first time the correct interpretation of, and the correct legal framework applicable to quantifying section 8 damages under the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations (“PM(NOC) Regulations”).

The PM(NOC) Regulations strike a balance between the interests of innovative pharmaceutical companies and generic manufacturers, by requiring generic manufacturers to address innovators’ patents before receiving … Continue Reading

SAGD Patents and Applications in Canada

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

INTRODUCTION

In 1979, Dr. Robert Butler and his research team filed a Canadian patent application for the oil recovery technology known as Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (“SAGD”).  Over thirty years later, SAGD technology has become a formative oil-recovery process, with over two hundred patent applications filed in Canada relating to SAGD technology.

SAGD operations have increased primarily due to its potential to enhance bitumen recovery.[1]  Patent applications have been filed in respect of many aspects of SAGD technology, including the orientation of the wells, the composition of the wells themselves, and the infrastructure that is required to … Continue Reading

B.C. Supreme Court Breathes Life Into New Breed of Potential Pharma-Related Class Action Whereby Innovator Profits Are At Risk

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

In Canada, innovator drug companies can protect their market exclusivity from generic copycats by asserting patents against the generic manufacturer in litigation under the PM(NOC) Regulations. Until now, the consequences of losing PM(NOC) litigation was the potential payment of damages to the generic whose market access was delayed by the litigation. These so-called “section 8 damages” are limited to the actual loss suffered by the generic during that specific period of delay. Public policy is such that the profits earned by the innovator during that period cannot, however, be disgorged pursuant to section 8 of the PM(NOC) Regulations.… Continue Reading

Canada Patent Litigation: Federal Court Rules “Enhanced Disclosure” Requirement for Sound Prediction Applies Only To “New Use” Patents

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

On July 2, 2014, Mr. Justice Rennie of the Federal Court released his judgment and reasons in Astrazeneca Canada Inc v. Apotex Inc., 2014 FC 638 dismissing AstraZeneca’s action for infringement and granting Apotex’s counterclaim for a declaration that Canadian Patent 2,139,653 (the “‘653 Patent”) is invalid. This patent relates to AstraZeneca’s successful drug NEXIUM® (esomeprazole).

Justice Rennie found the invention of the ‘653 Patent was novel and non-obvious, but nevertheless invalidated the patent for promising an improved therapeutic profile which was not soundly predicted.

While Justice Rennie canvassed a number of legal issues, his … Continue Reading

Federal Court Dismisses Notion that Patents Should be Given Only One Interpretation for All Purposes

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

Summary

In a pair of simultaneously released decisions on June 13, 2014, Justice O’Reilly allowed Allergan’s applications (the “Applications”) prohibiting the Minister of Health from issuing NOCs to Cobalt (now “Actavis”) (2014 FC 566) and Apotex (2014 FC 567) to market their generic versions of LUMIGAN RC® until the expiry of Canadian Patent 2,585,691 (the “‘691 Patent”) in 2026.

Allergan was represented by Andrew Reddon, Steven Mason, Steven Tanner and Sanjaya Mendis of McCarthy Tétrault LLP.

Background

Allergan originally marketed a 0.03% bimatoprost (“Bp”) containing formulation for treating glaucoma called LUMIGAN, … Continue Reading

Your Patent Has Been Infringed: Enforcement of Oil and Gas Patents in Canada

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

Introduction

Patent disputes are on the rise.  101 patent infringement actions were filed in in the Federal Court in 2013 as compared with 48 patent infringement cases in 2012.  As we explained previously, part of that increase is due to an increase in oil and gas patent litigation.  This raises the question; what do you do when you discover that your patent has been infringed?

Prosecuting Infringers

On April 23, we met with in-house counsel and other industry leaders at our new Calgary office to discuss the eleven steps that a patent holder in the oil and gas sector … Continue Reading

Enforcing an Intellectual Property Judgment in Canada

Posted in Intellectual Property

Whether we are talking about patents, trademarks, copyright or other forms of intellectual property, they need to be enforced and protected. One outcome of IP litigation can be a monetary award, for example, an award of damages. Organizations sometimes find themselves in a position where a final award in an IP case must be enforced against an individual or a company located in Canada. This happens, for example, where the Canadian defendant has no meaningful assets located in the foreign jurisdiction. It happens more often than one might think.

Essentially, a foreign judgment is viewed as a contractual obligation that … Continue Reading

Do you need to examine inventors located in Canada as a part of your patent lawsuit?

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

Almost invariably, defendants in a patent lawsuit seek to examine the inventors of the patent or patents in issue.  But, what do you do if an inventor resides in Canada?  Generally, non-Canadian courts are not able to assert personal jurisdiction over Canadians and, therefore, cannot compel them to give evidence under oath for the purposes of a lawsuit.  If a Canadian witness does not willingly provide evidence, commission evidence may be sought via the enforcement of what are called “letters of request”.  Essentially, these represent a foreign court’s request that a Canadian court order someone to appear and be examined … Continue Reading

Patent Litigation in Canada: A U.S. Attorney’s guide to the Canadian Litigation Process

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

Canada and the United States are close neighbors. About 300,000 people cross the border each day, and bilateral trade amounts to about $1.6 billion in goods daily.  It is not surprising that patent, and other intellectual property disputes, often involve some element of cross-border litigation.  The Canadian litigation experience is relatively similar to the American experience.  There are, however, some important differences that U.S. attorneys involved in such litigation should be aware of.

  1. Like in the United States, Canada has federal and provincial/state courts. Both can decide patent cases.
  2. Litigation process and procedure is dictated by the rules of civil
Continue Reading

Pfizer Liable to Apotex for Section 8 Damages: Amount to be Determined

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents, Regulatory Compliance

In a judgment pronounced on May 10, 2013, Justice O’Reilly of the Federal Court of Canada, granted Apotex’s claim against Pfizer for section 8 damages under Canada’s Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations, SOR/93-133.  The sole issue before the Court was whether Apotex had a valid claim to damages.  The amount is to be determined in a subsequent proceeding.  For the full written decision see: Apotex v. Pfizer Canada Inc., 2013 FC 493.

The section 8 claim arises out of a failed prohibition proceeding.  In early 2000, Apotex sought approval for its generic version of ZITHROMAX (azithromycin), … Continue Reading

Tech Law Summit Recap – Key Developments in IP Law

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Patents, Trade-marks

The recent McCarthy Tétrault Technology Law Summit included a panel on “Key Developments in IP Law,” featuring James Skippen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, WiLAN Inc. and McCarthy Tétrault partners Beth MacDonald, David Gray and Barry Sookman. Paul Armitage, another McCarthy Tétrault partner, moderated the panel.

Patents

James Skippen commented on the growing awareness of the value of intellectual property, and patents, in particular. He observed that, instead of being a neglected asset class, patents are playing a more prominent role, and may even, in some circumstances, exceed the value of a company’s other assets. 

After describing WiLAN Inc.’s  history … Continue Reading

An Early Present for Amazon – Amazon’s One-Click Patent Application Allowed by the Canadian Patent Office

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents

In a surprising move, less than one month after the much publicized Federal Court of Appeal decision in Canada (AG) v. Amazon.com, Inc., the Commissioner of Patents has allowed Amazon’s “one-click” patent application containing the same claims that were reviewed by the Federal Court of Appeal.

As we previously reported, the Federal Court of Appeal issued its decision on November 24, 2011. The three-judge panel allowed the appeal in part and directed the Commissioner of Patents to resume examination of the patent application on an expedited basis in accordance with the Court of Appeal’s reasons. The parties had … Continue Reading